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ASQ Black Belt Certification – Please Respond!

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  • #29390

    Sinnicks
    Participant

    Hello,
     
    I plan on obtaining my Blackbelt certification, and I’m wondering how much weight an “ASQ” BlackBelt has with various companies and recruiters.  Any responses and/or insights you could offer is much appreciated.
     
    Mark

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    #75202

    RR Kunes
    Member

    The ‘certification’ whether from ASQ or from a company is only as good as it’s track record. ASQ has been in the certifying business for many years and it has been questionable over the years if their body of knowledge was comparable the the application requirements.
    I’d prefer a certification from Allied Signal, Honeywell,  Six Sigma Academy, or other bodies that have proven that their programs are the best.

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    #75204

    Terry
    Member

    I have to agree with Randy.  There are Black Belt programs . . . Then there are Black Belt programs.  I know the Allied Signal, GE, Honeywell, and several others demand the tops in respect.  More importantly, the BBs come out of these “Six Sigma boot camps” very competent.
    I have heard +’s and -‘s about ASQ’s program.  These days we occasionally get a MBB or BB grilling us to make sure we have the “real thing” and not a cheap quick accelerated imitation BB.  At the risk of sounding biased, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Allied or equivalent BB.  GE works for me too.  But the $2,995 2-weeker BB does not!
    Terry 
     
     

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    #75205

    Chris Young
    Participant

    Mark,
    I tend to agree with these replies.  As an Executive Recruiter (ok, say it…HeadHunter) who specializes in Six Sigma professionals, I can tell you that it is absolutely the company/organization track record that quantifies the certification. 
    I could give you a piece of paper today that says you are a Certified Master Juggler, but that doesn’t mean that you can keep more than one ball in the air at a time unless you know of 100’s of other incredibly gifted jugglers who come from my organization.
    I question ASQ’s certification, but it is the individual and their accomplishments that count.  If your resume shows incredible project work that immediately impacted a company’s bottom line, saving millions of dollars, I’m going to give you a call whether you are certified or not. 
    RESULTS speak volumes…certifications are for show…that’s the bottom line.  If a company won’t look at you without a certification, chances are that they just don’t know Six Sigma and are looking for some way of qualifying your background!
    Chris

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    #75220

    Edwards
    Participant

    Does anyone know the value of BB certification from the George Group?  Is it up there or not well thought of?
     
    David

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    #75221

    Murray
    Participant

    The George Group is a very well polished, very professional acting consulting group. But they are Johnny come lately’s to the Six Sigma world. When I meet them I am impressed, the same way I am impressed by Anderson consultants – make your own conclusions.
    Their Lean Six Sigma is trivial. They are acting like they have some original thought here. Memo to George Group – all sucessful Six Sigma implementations have had time (a.k.a. Lean, responsiveness, Cycle Time, Supply Chain,…) as their primary metric.
    The ASQ certification is not meaningful. The test is easy to pass and easy to qualify for. Their training is also a joke – a bunch of old Quality guys without much implementation experience.

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    #75222

    Jack Pritchard
    Participant

    Certification in any field does not necessarily mean you are competent in that field. However, certification by a recognized body, e.g. ASQ, usually does mean two things: one, you are interested and dedicated enough to have put forth the effort to get the certification; and two, you have at least a certain minimum level of knowledge of the field.
    Certifications should be taken for what they are worth. Being certified doesn’t automatically mean the person is expert in a given field. But to say that a certification from a recognized professional body is worthless is equally untrue.

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    #75241

    Leung
    Participant

    The ASQ certification will get you in the door, but be prepared to discuss in depth the SS project you have completed. To me the certification shows you have put in a lot of effort to study for and pass the exam — no mean feat. But show me the money; how have you used the SS tools and philosophy? What have you accomplish?
    Every SS job I have applied for has sent me through at least 2 separate lengthy interviews on my SS projects — one lasted a hour and a half with a Master BB. I got my BB designation the traditional (?) way — 160 hours of training over four months and the completion on several projects under the watchful eye of a Master BB.
    As to which approach means more I guess it depends on the company.
    Ben
     

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    #75263

    Terry
    Member

    Good discussions.  There are both brilliant leaders and idiots with Harvard MBA’s.  There are brilliant successful leaders from “nuts n’ bolts” universities without as much glamour.  There are both great BBs and primadonnas from GE, Allied, ASQ, XYZ Corp., and other less recognized programs.  Not picking on any organization in particular, just making a point.
    My point – BB Certification is just the first baby step, not the ends.  Certification only “punches” your ticket.  Sure, you increase your odds by going through a well recognized program surrounded by brilliant peers.  But in the end, it depends on how you apply this new knowledge.  The leadership is within the person wearing the belt, not in their title or the belt itself.  If you make a personal commitment to live and breathe this stuff and become great at it, you will think a lot differently, learn to do the impossible in many situations, and achieve beyond your wildest dreams!  That’s what really matters.  Then it’s a lot easier to summarize these accomplishments on a resume. 
    Terry

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    #75291

    Ajit Mankottil
    Participant

    Hi,
    I completely agree with you Terry. Just by proclaiming that you have acheived a BB certification makes no difference to the place you are at. For this one has to literally live and breath ” BB “.

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    #75293

    hike
    Participant

    Chris Young, please contact me.  I am in search of a SS recruiter.  [email protected].
    Hike

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    #75302

    Christopher Ahoy
    Participant

    I agree Certification in any field does not necessarily mean you are competent in that field. But it gives a recruiter some assurance that the individual has some minimum level of understanding.  Experience counts as well as where you got the experience.   Certification by a recognized body will provide the standardization that most employers are looking for.  But who are the recognized bodies that everyone is assured of for getting the proper training?  Another advantage is that those who want to get the education in Black Belt or Master Black Belt training will also be able to go one place or a recognized place for the education and expertise needed.  Perhaps the cost of training would also be standardized?I would recommend that any entity certifying Black Belts or Master Black Belt would need to be accredidated to ensure that the certification is equal across the board so that there is consistency in the teachings and skill sets that are provided.  In other words standard format and some acknowledgement of accredidation for equal or similar strengths in the institutions that will propigate such certification? And those who teach are qualified? Question is also who is qualified to accredidate?  A panel of current experts? Chris

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    #75303

    Kelly Thrasher
    Participant

    I have to agree that the certification is only as good as what you’ve done with it.  Certificiation is like graduating from high scholl, it’s only worth completing the basic step and it depends on what you do with it. 
     I like the idea of ASQ’s certification since we have a standard organization certifying your BASIC skills.  I liken it loosely to how ISO got started.  Standards were set that aren’t that hard to pass but at least everyone got on the same sheet of music.  Let’s face it, if you get 3-4 projects under your belt that produce big results, who cares how or where you got certified.  It’s pointless to argue hard results.

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    #75306

    BBxs
    Participant

    Hike,
    If Chris was reputable, he’d be listed in the https://www.isixsigma.com/co/recruiters/ section. Are you sure you want Chris as a recruiter rather than a listed business?
    BBxs

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    #75309

    BBxs
    Participant

    Chris,
    I like to think of BB certification and a university education. If you were hiring a recent graduate into your business, would you rather hire a Yale/Harvard/Stanford/Berkeley graduate or one from you local community college? (Before everyone has a field day espousing how Einstein went to community college, etc., I would say that there are of course exceptions to every rule.) 9 times out of 10 I would say that those graduating from a more prestigious school are smarter, worked harder and are more ready to contribute to your business.
    Should all costs be equal? Should you only have to pay the $5 per unit cost of your community college if you went to Yale? I think not. You work hard, pay your dues, take out loans, etc., because it is more prestigious. The same is true for BB certification.
    I agree with your accreditation point, but Six Sigma doesn’t work that way and ASQ (seemingly the only body to do this accredidation) isn’t in a position now that they’re competing with everyone else to make a few bucks.
    Just a few thoughts worth a few pennies. Does anyone else agree?
    BBxs

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    #75310

    Christopher K. Ahoy
    Participant

    BBxxs:
    Point well taken.  I agree there would be different fees for different Six Sigma training institutes like education.  This is market driven philosophy and should be the case.  ASQ could be the accredidating body?  At least that way those who want the certification will know what they are getting?  Chris

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    #75326

    Rick Olano
    Member

    I work for an international firm which deals with colleges and universities.  We only deal in those which are accredited schools so that we do not pass along to our audiences, poor examples in higher education.  This not only protects our good name but also protects the young high school graduate seeking a decent education in hopes of a good quality job when he/she graduates.
    So, why not start asking from a ground swell movement on behalf of both the companies and the individual that we have this standardization and accreditation!  We should all strive for the best we can be with an equal regimen of training for an equal price.  And the companies who hire us will feel they are getting a worthwhile individual who has been trained well.  The only variable being that person’s prior experience.

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    #75334

    bill ritchie
    Participant

    I would agree that certification is only the beginning and that the real proof is
    in the doing. But as a consultant I can tell you that there are many companies
    who would rightly or wrongly not consider anyone who does not have
    certification.  It is definetly a door blocker in some places you might not
    even know you are being blocked.

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    #75338

    TC
    Member

    Chris,
    I tend to agree with BBxxs.  Being a Black Belt “certified” through my employer, in conjunction with a well respected group, I have a hard time believing that ASQ accrediation is any better that the education that I received.  I am certified as a CQA through ASQ and I have seen the exam given to applicants for the ASQ SSBB certification.  If the questions posed to the applicants are based upon the BOK the ASQ provides, then I believe that my training and project completion requirements provided a more thorough coverage of material.
    In this month’s Quality Progress Issue, two individuals went through the ASQ SSBB certification process.  It was recommended in the article that individuals that have received certification from another body, take the ASQ certification test.  Is that “value added”?
    I believe that there are +’s and -‘s associated with each SSBB program.  In order to become a better SSBB,  whether “certified” or not, is continually learning and applying the necessary hard and soft skills, project completion, and mentoring others (GB’s / BB’s).  You, and the entire organization will benefit as a result.
    TC

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    #75339

    Chris Young
    Participant

    BBxs,
    Perhaps you shouldn’t cower behind anonymity if you’re going to try discrediting someone who isn’t registered with this site.  I work for the largest players in the game, and I don’t particularly wish to have my contact info spread all over the net for Spiders, Service Providers, and “E-mail Capture” to exploit.  I am quite busy enough, I assure you, without such interruptions.
    Your comment reflects a very shallow interpretation.  In a broad, sweeping generalization of how the business world operates, I agree that those schools and certifications may get someone in the door strictly via reputation.  Unfortunately, those surface identifiers cannot speak to one’s technical merits, communication skills, leadership potential, breadth and depth of Six Sigma knowledge/ experience, and match for a company’s corporate culture.  Obviously, you must have a very strong understanding of those concepts yourself before you can assess someone.  Is this where you need assistance?

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    #75341

    Christopher K. Ahoy
    Participant

    TC:  Both you and BBx have made good points.  I agree.  Many thanks.  Chris

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    #75342

    JoeSig
    Participant

    Chris Young, Please contact me with regards to SSBB recruiting  [email protected]
    Thanks, JoeSig

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    #75350

    Sambuddha
    Member

    That is interesting discourse.
    ASQ has a body of knowledge that is quite comprehensive. Is it exhaustive? No! But then who decides what should be in there ? Atleast ASQ has a process to come up with exam questions, BOK, grading standards that is based on a survey of a cross section of the professionals associated with Six Sigma.
    To me, they are as acceptable to me as any other consulting agency/ company that pays attention to these things before they certify someone. 
    What is a certification supposed to do?  Good question.
    What is a degree supposed to do for that matter? It doesn’t say how many hours you studied before an exam, or how well you understood your stuff, compared to any other student. On top of that a certification doesn’t even come with any performance report.
    These are all “lowest common denominator” type measures. If you are looking at folks who have excelled, look at the results of their work. Do not look at the piece of parchment that only talks about their competencies and not necessarily about their talents and mastery with the tools.
     Did I take ASQ certification? Yes. 
    Do I think my resume speaks better about my abilities? You bet!
    Best,
    Sambuddha
     
     
     

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    #75353

    BBxs
    Participant

    Chris,
    You wrote: “Perhaps you shouldn’t cower behind anonymity if you’re going to try discrediting someone who isn’t registered with this site.”
    Whatever. Get off your high horse. I use a screen name for many reasons and I don’t need to justify it to you.
    My comments are my interpretation. Take it for whatever it’s worth. The fact is that if you have two candidates, one from an ivy league school and one from a community college, without meeting them — you’re going to be more impressed with one than the other on paper. That’s the only point I’m trying to make. It may turn out that the community college grad saved her company $2MM in hard savings, while the ivy league grad saved his company $50K in soft savings. It doesn’t matter. I’m just saying that blondes have more fun than brunettes. I don’t make the rules, I’m just conveying that some qualifications are worth more than others.
    So what specifically do I need assistance with that a headhunter could help me with?

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    #75360

    G. Taylor
    Participant

    Hi Mark, 
    Was just speaking with a recruiter in the UK.  To him, the BB is like a brand to hiring firms.  They make no distinctions from whom you have recieved your training.  What is of vital interest to them is what you have done with it.  What returns have your accomplished for your company and how did you do it. 
    Does ASQ need to be a governing body.  Well, a Black Belt to quality is not exactly what a CPA is to accounting.  I don’t think our pracitces will have an impact on companies like auditing as had on investing and the viablility of an enterprise.  A Black Belt could not be blamed for Enron. :) (Tounge and Cheek)
    Get your certification from a company that has accomplished somthing – with trainers that are experienced implementors!   That is what is important in our field. You can  learn from their successes and failures.

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